making it easier to keep in touch with family and friends

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Alternative Christmas Tree

This Christmas tree is one of its kind, demonstrates out of the box thinking. Inverted and hanging from the chandelier. 

Friday, 30 December 2016

Gifts of Friendship

The size or the value of the gifts don't matter. To me, they signify the friendship which is far more valuable than anything!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Take-out Food

Interesting results but I don't usually eat burgers. Except when there are no other choices left or when I am extremely hungry haha.
You Are a Burger
You know what you want in life, and you will assert yourself to get it. You are a natural leader.
You are very honest and even blunt. People tend to know where they stand with you - you don't leave anyone guessing.

You don't shy away from the truth, but it doesn't cost you any popularity points. Most folks appreciate your strong personality.
You make the most of every moment, and you really savor the good things in life. You don't hold back when it comes to your own happiness.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Totoro Cookies

I finally opened my box of Totoro cookies which I bought from Shirohige's Cream Puff Factory in Tokyo. Another two more weeks before they expire so better to eat them now. 
Oh goodness, they are really good! Such buttery goodness! I regretted not buying another box...

Monday, 26 December 2016

Cooking with Love

My mother cooked spaghetti today for her grandchildren. She cooked the sauce from scratch, using fresh tomatoes as she feels that it is healthier for the girls. That is cooking with love. :)

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas 2016! 
May we always be young at heart! :)
(Source: Studio Ghibli

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Getting Ready..

My girls and I got our hair cut. 
We are ready for the new year. :)

Friday, 23 December 2016

Educational & Emotional Support

I am much relieved now that Juliane has successfully graduated from primary school and will be starting Secondary 1 in ten days' time. 
Now that both my girls are in secondary schools, I feel that my job is done for the primary education part of their learning journey. :) The next challenge for me is how to support them educationally and emotionally in their secondary school life. 

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Secondary 1 Reporting Day II

Today is Secondary 1 Reporting Day. This is my second time doing this. Both Juliane and I were at her secondary school by 8:20am. Juliane is posted back to Singapore Chinese Girls' School Secondary, her first choice. My ex-SCGS colleagues saw me and laughed, "You are back again!" Haha :D
The Principal's Address started promptly at 8:30am. By 9:25am, the briefing ended. I allowed Juliane some time to catch up with her friends before queueing to buy her PE attires at 10am. It was an hour later when we managed to get her PE attires. At least, by now there wasn't any queue for the textbooks! I bought her textbooks and school materials in under 3 minutes. :)
By 12pm, we were back home. The perk of staying near the school! 
Juliane started reading one of the literature books:
Emily of Emerald Hill while waiting for
her grandfather to pick us up

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Happy Winter Solstice 2016 (冬至快乐!)

Winter officially starts today, with the fewest hours of daylight in 2016. 
Winter Solstice or 冬至 is one of the more important festivals celebrated by Chinese and East Asians. It is a time of reunion for families. My mother, originating from Taiwan, made the glutinous rice balls from scratch. This year, she made both sweet and savoury glutinous rice balls. For savory glutinous rice balls, she made minced meat and mushroom fillings and cooked the rice balls in chicken broth. For the sweet glutinous rice balls, she made them plain and cooked the rice balls in brown sugar and pandan syrup. 
Happy Winter Solstice 2016!
Savoury Glutinous Rice Balls with minced meat and mushroom filling
A glorious orange sunset to celebrate winter solstice (冬至)
PS. With my food poisoning, my mother only allowed me to have one savoury glutinous rice ball in case my stomach couldn't take it. Oh well, still better than not eating any!

Results of Secondary 1 Posting Exercise & Others..

At 6:45am, I received THE sms! 
Juliane has gotten into her first choice of secondary school! Yippee!!!

Hoping with this good news, I might be less stressed and get some rest as I was suffering from food poisoning since last night and haven't been able to sleep well. Unfortunately, no such luck. I kept running to the bathroom and the stomach cramps were really bad throughout the day. Even with medication, it didn't help much. :( :(

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Adorable Packaging!

I couldn't help but buy these cookies in their adorable packaging! Surprisingly, the cookies tasted quite good too. :P 
Apple cookies from Mai Coto, Kyoto
Butter cookies from Tokyo DisneySea

Monday, 19 December 2016

Happy 46th Wedding Anniversary

Happy 46th Wedding Anniversary, Ma and Pa (Grandparents)! 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Japan Trip 2016 Update

It will take a while before I can post our Japan Trip 2016 on the blog. I am slowly putting up the post(s) for each day of the Japan Trip 2016. Please bear with me. Thank you! :)

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Japan Trip 2016 Photos

I have taken over 4000 photos on my mobile camera for this Japan Trip 2016! :O Despite bringing my Sony camera along, it was much more convenient to use my phone camera to take photos! I will need time to sort them out before posting on my blog. 

Friday, 16 December 2016


Here are the coasters which I bought in Tokyo, Japan. They are individually made by special needs students. Are they lovely? They will make meaningful gifts. 

Thursday, 15 December 2016


Today is my first day back at work after my Japan Trip 2016. I spent the whole day clearing emails! I am only through with clearing about two-thirds of the 300+ emails which accumulated over the 13 days I was away. :O

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Japan Trip 2016: Day 13 14 Dec 2016 Wed - Narita International Airport & Home

This is our last day in Tokyo, Japan. We have really enjoyed ourselves and it seems too soon that the holiday has come to an end. :( There are places that we have yet to visit in Tokyo and there will definitely be other visits! :) 
We checked out just before 11am and walked to Takashimaya, Shinjuku, the first place we visited when we arrived in Tokyo 12 days ago. It is a fitting closure for us. We went round the food hall of Takashimaya and bought our lunch. 
The underground walkway to the hotel
We took the airport transfer to Narita Airport and arrived just before 3pm with plenty of time to spare for our flight JL711 which departs at 6pm. We bought more munch munch at the duty free shopping. We shared a ramen before boarding our flight. 
I am still amazed with Japan Airlines' punctuality. We departed on time. We both watched "Your Name (Kimi no Na wa)" and were thrilled to recognise some of the places in the movie. :) Snacks and dinner were served and we absolutely loved our dinner. It was delicious and Juliane's child meal (the last time she can order such meals) is simply adorable!
Farewell, Tokyo
Rice crackers served before dinner
Juliane's ADORABLE child meal, delicious too!
My seafood meal, prepared differently from the other seafood meal I had
More snacks
We arrived back safely in Singapore at 1am, 15 Dec 2016 Thursday. 
Once again, we really enjoyed our trip to Japan and we are already planning for our next trip! :)
Goodies bought at Narita Airport

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Japan Trip 2016: Day 12 Part 1 13 Dec 2016 Tues - Nozomi 124, Tokaido Shinkansen & Shinjuku Washington Hotel

It is our last morning in Kyoto and it is drizzling. At least the Kyoto Station is just opposite ibis Styles hotel, across the street and we would not get too wet. We took our time to have breakfast before checking out at 11am.
With plenty of time to spare, before our Nozomi 124 departs at 11:36am, we bought our bento lunches. It was really difficult choosing one because there were so many delicious looking bento lunch boxes to choose from!
As usual, the train arrived on time and departed soon after. We settled in our seats and I started taking photos of the scenery. As it is a cold day, there was low cloud cover and the scenery took on a romantic surreal look.
My tempura bento lunch box
Juliane's teriyaki chicken bento lunch box
We arrived at Shinagawa Station, Tokyo and took a train to Shinjuku Station. We managed to arrive at Shinjuku Washington Hotel, just after 2pm for check-in. Unfortunately, when I booked the room, I didn't check and actually reserved the Economy Double instead of the Standard Double which we stayed in during our earlier leg of our Tokyo trip. The Economy Double is a real TIGHT squeeze for two persons with three check-in luggage and two carry-on luggage. Actually, there is no room to move about at all. :( Reminder to self: Always double check the booking details.